Showing posts with label drink. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drink. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Minty Summer Drink Recipe

From Daryl aka Avery

Cheers! This week has been a whirlwind for me. FINAL SENTENCE came out last Tuesday. I've received some lovely reviews from Cozy Mystery Book Reviews and Melina the Readers' blogs.

I then went to Arizona (yes, it was hot! 116 in the shade!!  91 at 5:30 a.m. yipes!!). I went for a Cozy Conference sponsored by Poisoned Pen Bookstore, known as "The Pen." Great event. I was on a panel with the NYT authors Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay (a former MLK'er).

Kate Carlisle, me, and Jenn McKinlay
 I also got to see a sweet friend, author Jane Cleland. She's holding her latest book, Lethal Treasure.
Jane Cleland and me
 We met a few Facebook friends who are AZ residents, including Elizabeth. Darling! And her husband Chris.

Jenn McKinlay with our lovely Facebook pal Elizabeth 

Then yesterday, I flew to New York for Thrillerfest, a conference for thriller writers and fans. [No pix yet!!  Next week.]

I go to this conference not only because I hope to have a thriller published someday but because my sweet son lives in New York. What a great excuse, right? I also get to see my editor. And this Friday, there will be a cocktail party where a couple of fans will attend, one of whom is the delightful Dru Ann love, a die-hard reader and fabulous reviewer on Cozy Chicks.

And then it's back home to write, write, write.

Oh, and I sent off the books to the winners for last week's giveaway. Congrats to NoraA and Linda R. 

Now...before heading for New York, I decided to enjoy the fruits of my garden in a new way. I planted an herb garden this year - just one pot, but it's packed. I wanted to see if the spot in the garden would help the garden thrive. Yes!!!

My mint especially.

I love mojitos. And I love mint in iced tea. But I wanted to see what else I could do with mint. I found this lovely mint drink recipe, non-alcoholic, and decided to try it. The recipe called for honey syrup, but I'd heard so many good things about agave that I decided to try using agave. Yes!

[According to All about Agave website, agave has a low glycemic index.  The glycemic index is a way of measuring the relative impact of foods on blood sugar levels.]

Here's a picture of a chart on the website. I hope they don't mind that I'm sharing, but I was intrigued. Agave has a lower glycemic index than an apple.

The drink is light and lovely and perfect for a summer barbecue.


Non-alcoholic Mint Cocktail

Makes 1 drink


1/4 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup * RECIPE BELOW
2-3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
Chilled club soda or seltzer


Strip the mint of the stem. Mush the mint at a bottom of a 12-ounce glass with a muddler or spoon or the back of an ice cream scoop. Tip: Do you best not to crush the mint into tiny pieces. Just coax the essence out. Add the cooled syrup and lime or lemon juice. Stir. Add ice and fill to the brim with club soda or seltzer or even Pellegrino water.

Serve chilled.

HONEY or AGAVE SYRUP (for a lot of uses)


1 cup honey or agave syrup
1 cup water


Pour honey and water into a small pot. Bring to boil and stir until honey/agave is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

(If desired, you can add more syrup. If you really like it sweet, add one packet of a non-caloric sweetener.)


* * * * * * *

The first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is out!! It's set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California and features Jenna Hart, a former advertising exec who returns home to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and cafe.

You can order the book HERE.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out
You can order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

You can also follow and "like" Avery Aames the same way:  Facebook and Twitter.

or chat with my alter ego 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fruit Shrub

by Sheila Connolly

This week with its holiday thrown in the middle of it has us a bit discombobulated, so I'm filling in for Cleo today.

Here's a recipe that's tailor-made for the Fourth of July, since it's as old as the country:  shrub!

In the Colonial era in America shrub was a soft drink, also known as "drinking vinegar," because it included vinegar that had been steeped with fruit or herbs for up to several days.  (Vinegar is actually less acidic than lemon juice—and it was a lot easier to obtain in this country). Strained and sweetened, it would be reduced to a syrup and added to water or carbonated water. The sugar in the fruit plus the added sugar smooth out the acidity of the vinegar.

It can be served with or without alcohol.  Either way, it's a cool drink for a hot evening (with a lot less sugar than commercial soft drinks!).

Here is a simple recipe from a half-century ago:

5 quarts ripe raspberries or strawberries
1 quart mild vinegar (any kind)
Sugar (to taste)

Crush the berries and add the vinegar.  Let it stand for 24 hours, then strain.  Measure the liquid and add one-half pound of sugar for each quart of juice.  Heat to just boiling then put in jars or bottles. 

Here's a more modern recipe, which can be adapted to whatever amount of fruit you have on hand, since it is based on weight:

Three pounds of fresh strawberries
Select very ripe fruit.  Chop or mash it, then weigh it.  In a bowl, combine equal parts (weights) of the fruit and sugar, and cover.  Let the mixture sit for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, while the sugar draws all the liquid from the fruit. Then add an equal amount (weight) of vinegar and stir.  Strain it and bottle it.  It is ready to use right away, but it will also age well.

Three pounds, mashed
Equal weights fruit and sugar
When ready to serve, dilute your syrup with three parts cold water to one part syrup, and serve in tall glasses with plenty of ice.

 Of course you may add rum or vodka or brandy, and you may vary the fruits depending on what is ripe. Now I'm wondering what a blueberry shrub might look like, or a mixture of red and blue fruit.  Experiment!

This recipe will appear in
Golden Malicious, the
next Orchard Mystery,
coming 10/1

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pineapple Crush

I saw this fun drink in a Sunset Magazine and had to try. With a little creativity in the kitchen, this is a great way to "wake up your water," as the article in Sunset said.

Pineapple Mint Crush

Put 1/3 cup pineapple chunks (chopped up fine) and 4 large mint leaves in a large cocktail shaker. Add 1 tbs. water. Mash well with a muddler. Stir in 2 cups cold sparkling or still water, then strain into an ice-filled glass.  Serves 1


Number one, I couldn't get my cocktail shaker to open. It's never been used. I gave it to my husband as a gag gift back when I gave him everything "James Bond" for a Christmas gift. Silly but fun. So I had to improvise. I used a measuring cup. 
I didn't have a muddler.  Don't even know what it is. But I figured it muddled something. So I tried a meat tenderizer. Didn't work. Too big and too flat. Then tried an ice cream scoop. Worked!

I used a sieve (since I couldn't use the strainer on the cocktail shaker). Worked fine.

I tasted the drink and it was nice, but I like my drinks sweet. So I added a Sweet 'n Lo. I'm sure you could add sugar or simple syrup.  

Here's a recipe for that.

3 parts water to 1 part sugar

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cold water and sugar to a boil. Turn the heat to low and stir, approximately three minutes.  Note: the longer you boil the mixture, the thicker the syrup will become.

Delish and refreshing. Any time of the year. And so pretty!

Now, what was really cool, is I still had some muddled pineapple and mint leftover. So I added it to some grilled salmon for dinner and it was fabulous!  How easy is that?!!!



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* * * * *
The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 

You can pre-order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

Also, you probably know about my alter ego.
Daryl's new series: A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series
debuts July 2013

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
"She" doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...okay, maybe least...:)

I'm pleased to announce that my short story, PALACE ON THE LAKE, 
in Fish Tales: A Guppy Anthology has been nominated for both
the Anthony Award and Macavity Award. 
Go Sisters in Crime Guppies! 
Without the Guppies, my career would not be on the right track.
The group support is invaluable!
You can read PALACE ON THE LAKE by clicking on the title above. :)

Say cheese!